Freedom Forum is concerned over police attack on Nirmal Pyakurel, a Surkhet based reporter of News 24, while covering a public protest which took a violent turn leading to clash between public and the police. While the journalist Pyakurel was taking video of the incident, the police charged him and broke his camera despite showing the press ID on 28th of January, 2020. Surkhet lies in Karnali province.
As per FF's representative of Karnali Province, Laxmi Bhandari, Pyakurel was covering the news at Birendra Nagar Arichowk, covering the issue of public importance. But he was assaulted by the police, which led to the damage of his camera. Further, Pyakurel said, "I was capturing the protest on my video camera as my regular job. How can journalists work if they are assaulted in such way ?"
FF is saddened by the news and condemns the increasing trend of violent behavior towards the journalists. The primary function of security organizations is to ensure peaceful environment for the public where the press too feels safe. FF strongly opposes the police's attitude towards Pyakurel and other journalists who have been also been oppressed similarly and urges to respect the press freedom guaranteed by the constitution itself. The police persons are urged to differentiate the journalists from the mob while taming the protest.
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